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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser, Our World in Data


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Per Capita CO2 Emissions from Coal

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  • This interactive map, chart, and table show data on per capita carbon dioxide emissions from coal.
  • In the table and chart view, users can see data for per capita carbon dioxide emissions from coal all the way back to the mid-1800s.
  • Users can choose to view one country's per capita carbon dioxide emissions due to coal at a time or global data all at once on the map for 2020.
Teaching Tips


  • The data is represented in multiple ways through maps, graphs, and tables.
  • The data is available for download.
  • The data shows changes in coal use and carbon dioxide emissions over time in different countries, allowing for multiple comparisons.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be able to read line graphs to understand the data.
  • Students should understand that coal use contributes to carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Students should understand what "per capita" means.
  • Teachers may want to explain that the resource shows the data in tons of carbon dioxide. Students may need help conceptualizing such a large unit.


  • Have students analyze the change in the per capita use of coal over time in different countries. Why do some countries use more coal than others?
  • Math and statistics classes could compare the data in this resource with the data on the annual carbon dioxide emissions from coal to explore how the per capita data compares with country-wide data.
Scientist Notes

The resource examines per capita CO2 emissions from a coal source. Although some countries like the Central African Republic, Cameroon, Chad Republic, Cape Verde, etc. recorded 0 tonnes from 1751-2019, this could arise as a result of data unavailability. Above all, the method used in quantifying the metrics and normalizing units using a conversion factor of 3.664 is valid and the resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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